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Which is why they wore matching under things? There is reason geeks are known as socially awkward. Sure but…it goes both ways. A sort of con crasher. Longer would be wrong. And I think you rock for deciding to tackle this head on. But I hope that if I ever do I handle it with this kind of strength and style. Thanks for being willing to talk about this, and I hope to see you at Balticon again.
I thought the costume looked good. Both from the standpoint of a con-goer who liked TOS and recognizes the Lt. The only opinions of you that have meaning are yours and that of those you choose to value. I linked to this blog post from my Facebook page. Actually, your excellent costume looks a bit more modest in the picture than in the stills from the series: Take it up with the Admiralty!
Everyone was so nice and there were many girls in regulation length original series dresses. I myself had a dress made for the event, but due to complications with my seamstress, it was unwearable.
For all our imaginings that we are unique and different, a lot of fanac fan activity is fairly passive and introverted. For all my costuming, I can not approach the bravery of Forrest Ackerman, who rode a train to WorldCon 1 dressed in his home made space cadet uniform.
The length of the skirt was accurate and far from obscene , and personally I was in awe of your costume the entire time; you looked like you stepped off the darn show! Totally against slut shaming. However, why is there nothing here about the sexism of the original show?
For geeky grrls that actually lived through that era, the original Star Trek represented another black hole where a mirror could have been. Before filming began on the actual series, Majel Barrett and Nichelle Nichols got together and designed the female uniform, including the length of the skirt, because they wanted to look less masculine, and the skirt length was fashionable at the time.
Or so I have been told. Actually, Paulie, the actresses on TOS lobbied FOR the mini-skirt costumes, because that is what confident, liberated women of the day were wearing. Nichelle Nichols has talked about this. Have you watched the original show recently? When I did, I was actually surprised at how outspoken Uhura could be, and how she was involved in a number of issues on the bridge. Not to the extent of anyone in her position today, of course, but not bad for the time frame.
Pike was in charge of the Enterprise. His second in command was a woman Majel Barrett. If sexism is wrong now, then it was also wrong then. Yes, you can cite a conversation here, and a glimpse of empowerment in an episode there, but on the balance this show was sexist.
I wanted her to have her own ship. I had the same response when costuming as 90s Marvel Girl last year. I fully admit and accept that the show was sexist in very problematic ways. But so was every other geek media. I chose to cosplay as a character from this show because when I watched it in the late 80s, early 90s , I wanted to be Uhura.
All of them had stronger personalities than most of the women in ST: TOS, but they were still designed for the male audience. I spent many of my teenage years being incredibly angry about the sexism on Star Trek and other early sci-fi Ask me about Heinlein sometime , and every other show of that time.
Originally the TOS costume I wanted to do was Elizabeth Dehner — who wore pants, the same tunic jacket as the men and who kicked ass in her own way. However, I could neither find nor make a tunic shirt that looked good on me in the least bit. I ended up looking like I was costuming as McCoy. As for wanting Uhura to have her own ship: I want reboot Uhura to have her own ship as well! And I want the bald bridge officer lady in the reboot to have lines! Haters Gonna Hate… let the comments be evidence that you are doing something right.
Allow me to join the ranks of those saying that your costume was top-notch, your presence both totally legitimate and welcome, and your reaction to the responses you got completely reasonable.
Ill never understand why so many people feel the need to react the way people did to you. You must have heard of it somehow, even if that means you just saw a sign for it two minutes ago.
You have to come in and check it out. So please, please keep coming to conventions. Please keep creating and wearing awesome costumes like the one you wore to Balticon.
And please keep challenging those who make you uncomfortable there, because you have every right to be there, and they have no right to make you feel otherwise! Uhura was almost the exception, but she appeared, to my eyes, to still be the secretary of the bridge. In my own make-believe games, I was in charge of the adventures, I was leading troops into battle, I was exploring uncharted lands.
When my eyes turned to Star Trek, they glazed over in boredom. There were no really exciting adventures for little girls like me there. Add my voice, please, to those who attended Balticon, saw you in your impressive costume, and mostly just thought how awesome it was when people go to that much trouble in the name of accuracy and fidelity to the source material.
I wanted so badly to support every word, thought and planned action in this article. And I have never. Or other fellow geeks in general. All references to men are made with generalities and identify us as sources of danger and stress.
I wish this was not the case for you, and I wish I could do more. In fact, the article specifically points out that a good deal of the comments came from other women. You are mistaken regarding misandry.
It means hatred of men. It is often considered the converse of misogyny- hatred of women, although the implicit assumption that these words refer to women hating men and men hating women is not necessarily part of the definition.
The words themselves allow for equal opportunity hatred. Misandry is not societally reinforced, though. Most of the ways that society hurts men are due to patriarchal essentialism, not misandry. Please do some reading on what it means to be an ally. Just stopping in from io9 to tell you how much I love you.
As a sister geek, I have often wished I could express these frustrations. I am too often saddened and bruised by this community that I love so much. Again and again, thank you! Grouchy, grow up a bit, get over yourself, and join the 20th century. Your post is a crypto-misogynist post wrapped in a transparent cloak of victimhood.
I meant no aggression, i was simply trying to help. I thought I was doing this girl a favour. She corrected me, and I apologized. Emily, your article is perfect, as is your solution. To the people commenting: Hi, I was at Balticon fat lady with glasses behind the Orlando in table , saw you, and commented that I thought you looked terrific. And I hope we win the Worldcon bid so you can join us because we need to be more welcoming and inclusive.
This is a really excellent piece and that was a really excellent costume. I plan on passing this on. Everything you said about inappropriate and unsolicited criticism is dead on. There is one issue you raise that I feel may be tipping you into the mistaken-motives direction.
It is a very trivia focused culture, and quizzing on trivia is how conventions started and the basic linguistic currency off geek culture. It is reasonable to get into a separate discussion about whether such quizzing is appropriate or polite or productive or just plain annoying. As a queer person, I understand that the constant bigotry external and INTERNAL that marginalized people face can lead to a default expectation that everything people do to annoy us comes from that place of bigotry, but sometimes it is reasonable to parse further.
I wrote a piece for my blog on this selfsame subject not too long ago: What you call vetting other people would consider normal competitive and self-defining behavior. Trying to ascertain the level of commonality an individual shares with another is one thing, using the same interrogative methods to cut another person down in order to feel better about oneself is quite another.
There are other, more intelligent, healthier ways to define oneself. Good for you for taking something negative and trying to turn it into something positive!
Your TOS blue uniform is perfectly fine; I do not see one thing wrong with the uniform. They were objecting because you look fabulous. They were making comment because they were jealous. Never let people get you down. I remember seeing you in this costume at Balticon and thought you looked great.
How can anything be considered slutty when you are wearing colored tights. Geez, people playing tennis wear less. Does that make me any less of a nerd? Who wrote that rule?
I LOVE Star Trek and bunches and bunches of other fantasy and science fiction universes- I love the philosophical and moral issues they explore and they way they use fantasy to push socio-cultural buttons. I love the characters and the difficult situations they face. Does that make me less of a nerd?
I write original science and fantasy fiction self-publishing my first novel this year! I am rejected by intellectuals because I like fantasy and science fiction too much. Sadly, at the ripe old age of 34, I have yet to learn the skill of walking into a club meeting by myself without knowing anyone in advance. I have tried that type of thing a couple of times over the course of my life, and I was shunned or ignored in each situation.
I am shy- yes it is possible to both confident in yourself and shy- and I have trouble starting conversations with people, even when we have common interests. When I do drag a conversation into being, I manage somehow to intimidate people and they get away from me as quickly as possible.
The mental fortitude it takes to try again is overwhelming. You wore a costume that was both correct for the Original ST show and the con itself. The people who have an issue with it have an issue with their own bodies and probably do not have the costuming abilities you do. Your costume is also rather conservative considering what some people wear.
Perhaps it was the fact more is less; like a Ferengi mind had taken over the populous of the con? In a society that wears booty shorts and bikini tops to a doctors appointment; perhaps covering up is seen as obscene. A shapeless medieval gown is not the armor it might appear to be. Religion can rear its ugly head. Even a little cap has lead people to sneeringly ask what sort of Amish I am. Thank you for this essay and the awesomeness of your costume. Hope to see you rock in person someday.
We just read your article, and we LOVE your costumes and your attitude. The more of us that speak out on our own behalf, and create a safer environment so that others can do the same, the better geek culture becomes.
There is also the more complicated question of why costumers like yourself and others, including men choose to wear certain costumes. One, because you enjoy it obviously , it is part of the fandom you subscribe to, it has personal value to you. You want to represent something that you find cool or exciting or otherwise meaningful to you. There are also the many unconscious things that compel us to act the way we do, things that really have nothing to do with having fun, but what we are exposed to perhaps from childhood on and what we have become part of, a system and a way of thinking that is almost never discussed, outside of CBT sessions.
There is nature and there is nurture and something in between. For all the progress in equal rights, we still do not see many women CEOs, political leaders, etc. We see plenty of costumers, though. Role play is interesting to explore, especially with these dynamics. Why is there so little discussion about it? Just blind acceptance in the media and elsewhere? Why does a grown women feel compelled to wear a costume originally designed to compel the male gaze?
A sexist-hold over that is being reintroduced and thus, helping to perpetuate that old-fashioned idea? That said, there are people out there who love dressing up as Nazis though they do not subscribe to the philosophies — some are even members of royal families. But where does learning begin? The fantasy female that you may embody for some , is a male invention, and you are wearing it.
No one deserves abuse for it, but not to understand why some men might behave inappropriately, is a tad disingenuous. Yes, they should know better. But I see the irony. Is wearing an exact replica of a sexist costume designed for the male gaze a way of doing that, in a different context? Does the message come across, or does it matter? Is it all down to being respectful, no matter what a person looks like, is dressed like, etc? It must be, but, again, where does the learning begin?
Do we have to wear Irony at all times as well? Our motivations, even the ones we are not really aware of, can be more important than we realize. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. It is refreshing to see such insight. I too feel that people should feel free from any sort of persecution for any reason and to blame impulses is a poor excuse. But a friend of mine suggested that it may represent for some the heroic act of Leia freeing herself from Jaba the Hutt.
Perhaps it is a matter of context of costuming. Some day I dream that this will be a non-issue. Women who felt you made them look less good by comparison, went out of their way to try make you feel uncomfortable, unwanted, unwelcome, and slutty so… you turned around and blamed the male oriented culture of conventions. This post should really have been split into two separate ones: The males apparently did nothing wrong. In fact, they were treating you just like one of the guys — which you purport to desire.
Males grill other males on trivia. Males look affronted when other males correct them. Males ignore other males they have no interest in talking too all the time. I have no idea why you are complaining about this, unless you want males to treat you differently than they treat other men. Additionally, you seem to be falling into an excessively binary dichotomy: Not all men will find intelligent, educated women desirable conversation partners, but most men will admire attractive women.
Instead of being a shallow male who cares only about her appearance, I will discuss our shared love of star trek together! Have you ever listened to guys talk about sports? You can see why most nerds are hopeless with women. I think one of the biggest ways to improve this situation is for women to learn to accept the male attention in the spirit with which it is given.
Gosh, if I had been there, I would have had a very curious reaction. So I would asked the Lieutenant if who her tailor was! And if you were a hot guy in a nice tight Fleet uniform, I might also ask for your phone number.
A girl on tumblr made a comic on this topic as well. But she wanted all her mail with a military return address. After being flummoxed the first few times, he got into the spirit of it and would kid her about doing this sort of thing will all men. Maybe the problem is that puritans under the feminist banner was her to be desexed?
She owned her sexuality! How dare people try to disempower her, neuter her, make her a victim? Some women enjoy the sexual attention of men. Now if only there was a term we could use to describe the attempt to silence them… something alliterative… starting with sssss.
The skirts were so short because there is no gravity in Calcutta, which is a Black Hole, and not because they were Playboy bunnies. I thought your outfit was fabulous! When you came by our table in the dealers room, I was impressed with the detail of the costume. To me, it was wonderful that someone wore a costume from the Star Trek series that I grew up with.
Is that your intent? You wore that costume poorly if that was not your intent, and now, you are upset about the comments it generated.
I personally think that people should be able to accept constraints, and unfortunately, most geeks tend to disagree. This article shows how it works both ways: Stop complaining about it, and make sure you learn how to sit down in an Old Trek costume before wearing it again.
What exactly was she flashing? Like a tennis dress. Or a figure-skating costume. I figure it was a combination of the dress riding up and posture changes from perhaps unfamiliar high heeled boots and walking fast. Ref embarrassment levels when a woman manages to tuck her skirt into something opaque not meant for view at that moment. Part of the pantyhose reinforcement area was showing. I just walk that way. Some of the patterns actually come with matched panties.
Although until this thread I had never noticed it on screen. Except Balticon strives to be costumer friendly. There is a hall costume contest. If you truly have a problem with what someone is wearing, Con Ops is down at the end of the hall behind the curtain. Go complain to them. However, there have been less costumers in recent years. There have been less entrants into the Masquerade.
Obviously your inner thigh is quite offensive. The founder of Costume Con chairs our masquerade. I would hardly call that a failure to be cosplay friendly. FYI, it is common these days for costumers and, indeed, young woman in street clothes, to wear shorts under their short skirts so that they are NOT flashing people. What your and your friends saw was her modesty garment, not her underwear.
She constructed and wore the costume exquisitely and had an appropriate modesty garment in place. Her hair was perfectly coiffed to match the period of the outfit and her footwear was a perfect match.
Oh wow…the appropriate updo totally nails it! Yes, there have been costumes where sex appeal was job one…. Maybe they got their manners from spending to much time online. I would have hit on you. She basically wore two pairs, pretty much like girls here do for sport at high school.
Also, what I was doing under my costume! And what most other short-costume wearing costumers do, given then prevalence of guys trying to take pictures up our skirts. Not at Balticon, but at bigger and more costume-heavy cons.
In which case, maybe the problem was a fear of a potential event so dreaded they never noticed the real situation. He has been trying to reach you since the last day of the con. You WON the popular vote, you know. Please write to HallCostumes Balticon. I wish that we could rise above and be kind to one another and be happy for the effort and the time that we do put into our costumes. Yours probably looked so cool and spot on like the tv show. Thank you for writing that article. I remember that exact sensation many years ago when I would wander the halls of Balticon in costume.
I had a costume I loved, but when I put it on, I had to gird my mental armor as well. It was exhausting to wear. I saw you and complimented you on this costume at Balticon but I want to say it again: I have stopped wearing costumes at cons mostly because I lack to time to make them, but I know part of it was the awkward stares and drunken psudo come-ons.
There is one man a Balticon who looked out for me when I was too young to look after myself ish and I will forever be grateful for his intervention. Bless all of the men and women who speak up for those too embarrassed or confused to do so for themselves.
I took my 6yo daughter to her first con a few months ago. She proudly sported her Legend of Zelda shirt and when she saw older girls cosplaying Link she stated emphatically that at her next con she was going to as well. Thank you for helping to make her path a little easier to traverse. Star Trek was forward thinking in many ways, but those tiny skirts were not the leading edge of feminist progress; rather, they were to make men like looking at the show that much more.
The author speaks of other conventions, other costumes. The outfits are skimpy, and what there is of them is generally skintight. Again, this was done to appeal to a primarily male audience. Women who are fans of the genre may like these costumes from a design standpoint, but their appeal to men is and always has been primarily sexual. My main point here is that the author is dressing up as something that was designed to reduce women to eye candy.
It was meant to be ogled. It is inherently sexist, period. Male sci fi fans have been ogling these images for as long as these characters have existed, so to be shocked that they do the same thing when they see them in real life is to me a little surprising.
Wearing a miniskirt was seen as liberated by the women of the time, and Nichelle had input into the costume design. Certainly, right-thinking people denounced those libertines back then, as they do today, but the fact is Star Trek was a s show with the values of the youth of the time.
The one time I went to DragonCon, I went with a group of friends that were all male. I threw on an old Halo shirt and some jeans, some eyeliner and chapstick, and wandered into what I assumed was going to be a safe geek zone. Throughout the Con, guys wandered up to me and asked to have their pictures taken with me. Some of them began to tear up, laughing. One of them explained that at Cons it was customary for people to get their pictures taken with people in costume or people they found attractive, sometimes paying them for the privilege.
Horrified, I wore an over-sized sweatshirt the next day. Not only had I been objectified without understanding the situation, but those that I assumed were my friends had been complicit in shaming me for being a female in a male space. Needless to say, I do most of my geeking out behind closed doors now. If you had had a woman do that to you, would you have then denounced female society? Because i know from the cosplayer tales that they are sometimes approached and even groped by women.
Why are you so scared of being desired? It comes from both men and women. EVERY uber geek starts as a newbie and we should learn to encourage each other. How is that going to make you feel? The actual situation would have to be me going to an area of gay pride, and instead of being groped or threatened, men pose with me, give me tips for the privilege, and slip me their phone numbers. By the way, female friends of mine who have gone to rallies have had their tits fondled and worse, by women, and they still managed to walk out the front door the next day without collapsing in a heap.
In the scenario described by Ciara, the men behaved correctly. Never said anything about freedom of consequences. If you want to jeer at anyone who finds you attractive, go thee forth and have at it.
I happen to agree with the opinions of these people http: Well, if nothing, he can certainly bloviate. Freedom requires critical thinking and personal accountability, and that shit is really difficult. That line of argument tends to go with a whole suite of other entitled assumptions.
Now grow a pair, own your words, and stop making a fool of yourself. Actually, freedom of speech does become an issue when mobs form to begin dictating what someone can or cannot say. This is the problem with social justice warriors.
They reduce rights to being nothing more than legal privileges for the sole purpose of making their mob justice seemingly acceptable. If you do not submit to their whims, they agitate others that have nothing to do with a given situation so that they may descend on individuals like angry locusts. They oppress and suppress anything and everything they dislike, and they do it while whining that they are not oppressing or suppressing anyone because they are a mob acting in concert but not in the same way that the government is a mob acting in concert.
They will shout you down, run you over, and destroy your livelihood, and they tell themselves that they love freedom and justice while they do so. A person has a natural right to express themselves even if you dislike it, and that right does not come from the First Amendment.
Another person, or rather a group of people, working to keep you from expressing yourself is no less guilty of violating that right than an authoritarian government. As I have a right to express my thoughts, you have a right to not associate with me or my thoughts. You do not, however, have a right to gang up to silence others. And this is also not an issue of private companies being allowed to have their own rules on their own property.
Because the social justice mobsters are constantly working to force private companies to adopt policies they would not otherwise have so as to suppress what the mobsters have decided is unacceptable. Bullying a private company so as to silence others still comes back to the principle of freedom of speech and the suppression thereof. People are free to ignore me and go on about their business. If you and a pack of your fellow mobsters surround me, drown me out, and try to silence me, the villain in that scenario would be you, not me.
I was not hurting anyone or breaking any laws, but you felt it was necessary to silence and suppress me and my love of hats. Rights are not bestowed upon us by the government, and the government is not the only entity capable of infringing upon and violating our rights.
You are free to voice your views on the free market of ideas, and others are allowed to adopt your views or not. You are free to associate with or disassociate from views with which you agree or disagree. Once you start thinking you are within your rights to control others, you are just another authoritarian, jackbooted thug.
Nowhere in the UN Charter of Human Rights does it say that a person has the right to treat another person like a piece of meat, or to abuse them, whether physically or verbally. Saw this on io9. I really enjoyed the article. That said it would never occur to me to think I had some right to make you feel uncomfortable or even ashamed of yourself because you might be a bit out of my league.
Or a threat as some of those passive-aggressive comments from women show. I think most people at these cons would probably not want to make you feel bad. The women are going to have to take this one on themselves. But you have my support. I feel the need to apologize for my gender. I really think it boils down to social akwardness the male geeks feel threatened by women and the trivia thing is a defense mechanism. I am not trying to defend their behavior I am just attempting to explain it.
It means nothing to explain it to US. What was your favorite episode? Then who was the alien of the week in Space Seed, huh?
May I join your gang? Thank you Emily for this thought-provoking post. You are very right to point out the problems with these kinds of microaggressions and how they can be subtle yet impact women very deeply as they accumulate. I write about these types of issues for women traveling abroad and am very happy to see others speaking out against this kind of problem.
Keep defying stereotypes, keep wearing awesome costumes, and keep writing and sharing about your experiences. As a first-generation trekkie—I thought you looked awesome. And anytime you want to come up to Philly—be welcome. Wonderful essay, and wonderful costume. Also — do you have a script yet for your planned responses at the next con? It might be helpful to write down a few good comebacks to the top ten most anticipated comments. That, or I was more blind,and people talked less.
I know that sounds crazy but life is too short to ignore a natural attraction. Just my natural impulse and desires. However, if you are going to wear something like that you should be expecting commentary.
I know quite a few gals who go to cons wearing much less than that and much more revealing, and maybe because they are young and attractive, they know what they are doing.
You said you felt perfectly safe, then what are you complaining about? Some cats saying you look hot and some j bird gals talking smack?
Congrats, you are 1 in like 4 billion. Congrats you exemplify rape culture. And what you say? One thing that I had going for me in regard to comments and interface was that my husband and friends and I costumed in groups, so we women two of us, usually had some insulation in terms of friends.
Once, Julius Schwartz pinched me on the butt. I was appalled, but was only 19 and had no idea what to do next. I think you should hop a plane and check out GeekGirlCon… great article, by the way. Someone dear to me who is involved with Balticon sent me here.
As a guy who is a geek and is still fond of the original Star Trek, I will say these things: You rock the costume. What you want to wear is your business. I hope people behave better next year. And please, as somebody who does not do cosplay but admires those who do, I hope nothing dampens your enthusiasm to make more costumes. The Cosplay Conundrum CapelessCrusader. I admire Nichelle Nichols; she was a strong, smart and courageous woman trying to be a role model, a successful actress and a determined good sport at a time when there were almost no people of color on television.
The show was a product of its time; dominated by men and their fantasies. Already a ton of comments here — which I am glad to see, because I think a lot of great things are said here.
Keep informing, keep educating, and keep rocking it out. Amazing News Weekly - Amazing Stories. It is great to see it online and where people can share you thoughts widely.
Thank you for doing this. With the black stockings? Goodness, I know Baltimore is not L. What a great article! You make so many good points. The one that hits home with me is the idea that women can be seen as experts or as eye-candy, but not as both.
This is true for professionals at cons, too, not just for fans. I am a writer and have attended some of the more literary-oriented cons, including Balticon, in the company of a group of friends who are also writers. I am completely average-looking. I have also written many published novels. She is an excellent writer and is articulate about the industry, but she is unpublished.
We both notice how differently we are treated in a group of male writers at a con, no matter what we are wearing. She is instantly drawn into the gathering. The guys make a fuss over her. Everyone wants to talk with her and be near her.
But if she tries to talk about writing, they immediately change the subject to something light and social. They want her there, but only for flirting with or, sometimes, for blatantly hitting on. My experience is completely different. I try to break into a conversation about writing by making reasonable, relevant comments. After that, they listen and accept me as part of the group, and speak to me the way they speak to each other.
The men in our group — published or not, and regardless of looks — simply walk up to such a gathering and start talking. They are accepted without question. Only women have to pass the litmus test: I used to let this bother me. Now I try to remember that the men who are treating us this way are not bad people.
My 15 year old son is getting into the Con thing as I was and may be again. I just like the valuable information you supply on your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more here regularly.
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Sometimes, people like being artistic with fabric. And they carried it off to perfection. My first thought from your pic was Dax from the crossover ep. I got involved with a fight involving a passenger who loves to start stuff. I was waiting, unaware there were people in line at the SF stop for El Cerrito Del Norte, and a rider started using colorful language and acting agressively - the person who picked him up in a silver Prius somehow told him to leave the car and I got in instead.
The rider was in the car behind us, and when we got off in El Cerrito, he instigated again and we both got into a fight and I have witnesses saying that he is an aggressor and has almost gotten into fights with drivers. I don't want to see people getting hurt when this guy opens his mouth.
He asks many questions about how the carpool works, how much money is exchanged and what different routes to the freeway are taken by drivers. However, he never gets in a car. I have witnessed him do this and my boyfriend, who also rides casual carpool from the same pick up spot, has witnessed him do the same on a different day than I had witnessed him.
I have seen him do this once, my boyfriend has seen it happen twice. I am trying not to be too suspicious, but it definitely seems strange that he asks the same questions each day and wants such detailed information but will step out of the line when it is his turn to get into a waiting car.
I've been carpooling a little over a year now and everything had gone smoothly until last night. Claiming she's been in my car for 1. Confused and not sure what to say, I reassured her this is the route to Vallejo and that she's only been in the car for 20 mins. She calms down for a little while until I reached Pinole at which point she claims I'm not taking her to Vallejo and that she wants to get out of my car. Thinking for my own safety, I offered to drop her off at the next possible exit if she feels uncomfortable riding with me.
She said no, and continue to insist I take her to Vallejo. Totally confused and scared, I drove as fast as I could until I reached the drop off point in Vallejo; she ended up getting out of my car right before the turn onto Lemon and slammed my car door on her way out.
I'm just glad nothing happened and I was able to get her out of my vehicle but what an experience! She then proceeded to drive extremely fast, swerving in an out of traffic in excess of 80 mph.
On top of that she was extremely rude to me both upon arrival and departures. I did not feel safe nor wanted one time throughout the ride. In my 3 years of carpooling experience I've never encountered a driver like her and will certainly steer clear if I ever see her again. Not a smooth ride for sure. I would suggest casual carpoolers avoid this vehicle and driver. The driver of a blue Mazda MX-5, picked me up at around 9: The driver engaged in an escalation of anger and aggressive driving when another driver cut us off and gave us a rude gesture out of her window.
The driver of my car proceeded to return the rude gesture, and repeatedly tried to pass the other driver, making a number of dangerous maneuvers, which the other driver countered, trying to block us.
At one point we nearly got run off the freeway on-ramp. I would recommend avoiding this driver. I have used casual carpool almost daily for over five years now from the same spot and have never had any issues.
Unfortunately, I had a very interesting ride this morning that left me very frustrated. There was an older 70s? African American man in a white shirt and tie driving, and an older 60s? African American woman in the back seat behind me. I said good morning. Nothing else was said until we got to through the toll plaza, after which he asked if I was going to help pay the toll.
I said I had no money other than credit cards and apologized again. The ride then continued as normal with nothing said until they pulled up at Howard and Fremont to drop me off. As I was getting out the man said that if I wanted to ride with them I should remember money next time. I apologized again and said I almost always do have cash but had run out yesterday and had not had time to get more.
At that point the woman started pushing the seat forward before I had gotten completely out and said, "It's always one ethnic group that never has any money" I am half Japanese. Just before arriving at the SF dropoff point, my driver asked me to contribute the dollar for toll which I did not have. I politely told him I did not have it.
When he pushed further, I re-iterated that I had no cash or change. I politely disagreed with him and told him I am not obligated to pay him the dollar. He then began demanding the dollar saying that everyone pays and shouting expletives. When I told him he was making me uncomfortable and that I wanted to exit the car, he demanded I leave the vehicle in the middle of Fremont St.
I told him that was illegal and he could get a ticket and to please pull over for me to exit. As I left the car, he continued shouting expletives at me. This message is about a regular driver at Grand and Perkins in Oakland. He drives a newer-model tan Toyota Camry. He is middle aged, Asian American, balding, and wears glasses. I've had unpleasant encounters with this driver before.
He drives aggressively, asks way too many personal questions, and honks at the carpool passengers in the queue if they don't see him when he pulls up. But all of that pales in comparison to a frightening experience I had with this driver recently. I got in the back seat with another passenger. A third passenger got in the front seat. The passenger next to me handed over a dollar before I got in. The passenger in the front seat did not. I didn't want to distract the driver or embarrass the passenger in the front seat, so I waited until we arrived in San Francisco to offer a dollar.
The driver said nothing about a toll contribution during the drive. When we pulled over on Howard Street, before I could even pass up the dollar in my hand, the driver whipped around and glared at me. After a second, he screamed, "You have to give money for toll! This aggravated him more. He began hurling obscenities at me as I got out of the car. A few seconds later, as he drove away, he rolled down his window and screamed some more obscenities at me.
I'm scared to think what he might do to the next passenger in this situation. The "unsafe driver" to which VP refers may be who many of us riders affectionately call "The minute Man", although his Saturn is unmistakably dark red, not beige, so I'm not sure. However, that brings to mind a number of comments I've heard, both positive and negative, about this driver, and I'd like to post one in writing in his defense.
I've ridden with this driver many times. For my part, I consider him, while decidedly fast, quite safe. He sometimes will try to pass a very slow, timid driver in the carpool lane, but he does not take what I would consider unnecessary risks in his maneuvers.
He waits until he knows he can make the pass safely. Sometimes he is not successful due to another car changing lanes, but he does not weave, like I've seen some teens and 20s do in their souped-up Hondas and the like. He seems to know exactly where his front end and sides are, and artfully maneuvers through traffic.
Whether he follows a bit close for some people's liking is not for me to say, but I can tell he has a good feel for the road and anticipation of traffic. The end result is a fast, smooth ride that saves me time getting to and from work. I've heard a few people say they don't like riding with him, but many others are excited when he pulls around the corner, because they know he's going to get them home or to work in a professional, quick, and above all, safe manner.
I'm one of the latter. In a time when there are so many distractions that people allow to take their eyes and mind off the road, this driver pays rapt attention, and that makes me feel quite safe. He is one of my favorite drivers! I got mugged when a driver kicked me out early — North Berkeley. Nothing was said when I got in except to verify that I was going to Civic Center.
When we got off the 9th St. She said that I should have asked her when I got in if it would be ok to ride without a dollar. I said a choice word or two because I was pissed, but I still got out.
I just missed the bus, so I would have to wait for the next one, usually minutes for that line. While I was waiting, I got robbed at gunpoint and had my wallet and phone stolen. This toll controversy has gone far enough, and I blame the driver for kicking me out of the car so rudely and inappropriately. I was picked up at around 8: I have been a rider in his car before and noticed some aggressiveness, but today was much worse. He refused to brake and allow a car that was already slightly in front of him in while merging onto the freeway.
Then he aggressively merged across multiple lanes, nearly running into the cars in front of him and just barely squeezing in front of the cars behind. The driver of a maroon-ish Toyota Tercel is dangerous! He's in his 40's, Asian, mostly bald, wore aviator-type sunglasses. He swerved in and out of lanes, didn't pay attention to the road, tailed cars in front of him, and almost hit other cars times while we were going across the bridge. I have been taking carpool for two years and never actually thought it was dangerous until today.
The other passenger and I got out of the car like it was on fire when we finally made it to SF. I picked up two passengers today at the casual carpool located at Lemon St.
The passenger sitting in the front I was driving had a chance to get into my purse and stole my wallet. I filed a police report as soon as I arrived at work. Please make drivers and other casual carpoolers aware. The driver was completely reckless, constantly changing lanes and cutting cars without looking over her shoulders to check for oncoming traffic.
She had to hit the brakes over and over, I thought we were going to hit a car on multiple occasions not to mention an angry van driver yelling at us for her terrible driving. After the other passengers and I got out, we said we were thankful for making it to SF alive in spite of our lives flashing in front of us. I rode in from Vallejo today with a driver Indian or Pakistani male, early 20s of a white Acura sedan who wove in and out of the lanes at 80 mph, and that was not the worst of it.
When the driver pulled out his cell phone and read a text message and then proceeded to use his knees to steer the car while starting to type a text I very clearly told him to not text while driving pointing out that it is both dangerous and illegal. The young man was visibly irritated by my protest but he did drop his phone into his lap and proceeded to drive a little but not much more cautiously for the duration of the trip.
This is the second time I have had to tell a driver I don't ask because texting while driving is NOT an option to not text while driving. Riders should be encouraged to speak up and protest this dangerous and illegal behavior while riding in casual carpool. The life they save might just be their own.
The driver steered the car with one hand and texted with the other, constantly looking up and down from her lap where she held the phone. She did not use turn signals when changing lanes and drove tentatively, probably because her view of the road was interrupted by her texting.
Her two hands were rarely on the wheel, and her two eyes were only intermittently on the road. I want to report an unsafe driver who drove from SF to Fairfield during the Eastbound commute this past Monday, January 25, at approximately 4: He is a white male, early to mid 30's, no facial hair, short dark hair, slim to medium build and wears glasses and a Bluetooth hands free phone device.
The car is a light colored metallic beige Saturn. This driver not only drove exceedingly fast for the weather conditions, he routinely changed lanes at high speeds and passed drivers on the right in order to get ahead of cars in the carpool lane and then slammed on the brakes coming within inches of the rear end of the cars he was tailgating.
The other two passengers and I seriously feared for our lives and are amazed that this guy did not lose control of his vehicle during our ride home. I would never ride with this driver again. His car is filthy with stained seats and reeks of gasoline. The front passenger seatbelt is broken and is held together with masking tape. Do not ride in this car. Speeds approaching 90 mph from El Cerrito across the Bay Bridge at about 6: He picked me up at the Rockridge stop and asked a lot of personal questions and questions about where I work, what I do and then asked for my business card.
Although I refused to answer any of his questions or give him my card, he didn't stop questioning me. The woman in the back, who was obviously someone he knows, did not say a word. I got in at Fruitvale and Montana - same setup in terms of the driver and the woman in the back. We just took the Bay Bridge across - the driver was very nice and a very safe driver the entire time. If anything, he drove a bit slow at times - but not so slow that it was dangerous. I just wanted to get the word out that it is very dangerous to park your car in the "overflow lot" in Vallejo.
This is located right on the corner of Lemon Street and Curtola Parkway. In August I parked in the lot on a Friday morning and when I returned my car was gone. I did get it back 4 days later; however, it was so dirty and tainted that I ended up selling it. I would hate for this to happen to anyone else as it has caused me huge headaches and problems since. During this time I have not experienced any problems or had any concerns until yesterday.
This ride was very unsettling and frightening, to say the least. The driver was tailgating the car in front of us to the point that every time the car slowed down our driver had to slam on his brakes. Near Richmond the car in front of us slowed. Our driver slammed on his brakes, as did the car directly behind us, which was then hit by the van behind it.
By this time I was so uncomfortable and frightened that I asked our driver to stop tailgating and slamming his brakes. I also informed him that I was going to post a warning on the rideshare website to alert people about his driving. After that he began to drive like a civilized person. I would like people to think twice before riding with this driver.
The license plate on the car is 5VVK I've been taking the carpool for about a year now and for the most part it's great, but this morning I got into an white Toyota Corrola? The driver was an older Asian man and in the back seat was a young Asian woman who told me there was an accident on the and they were going to take the instead. I agreed to this, I've done it before and sometimes it's quicker. So we drove down Fruitvale, but the driver turned off on 29th and got lost and could not find the freeway entrance.
After running two stop signs, making an illegal left turn on a red light and driving around the parking lot at the Fruitvale Mall looking for a way onto the freeway, he topped it off by driving on the wrong side of the street onto an off-ramp. At this point I yelled at him to get off immediately, as did the woman in the back.
The driver spoke no English and seemed utterly lost and confused. I didn't get the license plate, but please be careful of this driver if he shows up again. After reading a lot of the general comments by passengers on this discussion board, I'd like to express a few comments myself as a driver. These people will eat, snack, drink in my car without even thinking of asking my permission to eat, snack, drink in MY car.
I don't even allow my kids to eat in my car. Another peeve of mine is when passengers decide to give themselves a manicure. One thing that HAS changed over the years is the unspoken 'rule' of the passengers paying after 7 p. Most passengers respect this, but there are still a few that will coincidentally fall asleep or just not contribute while going thru the tolls after 7 p.
I do understand that passengers may not have change or money to give, but instead of ignoring it, just say something. It might be embarrassing, but I would be more compassionate towards that passenger by speaking up, otherwise I will just be bitter towards that person and I WILL remember that person and possibly not pick them up again.
Overall, I've met some great people thru carpool throughout the years, where relationships have grown outside of carpool happy hour, dinner, functions, etc. It's a great system I'm so glad to be part of it. From the Oakland Ave. They were playing music at an extremely loud volume. I asked him to please turn the music down which he did slightly and then when I put my earphones in for my iPhone, he intentionally turned the music up louder than the original volume.
I asked him to turn it down again, and he muttered he would if I politely asked. At that point he wanted to argue and he refused to turn down the music. I have taken part in the wonderful opportunity for the past 10 years and have had only a couple of other poor experiences, and feel it is my duty to all my car pool friends to warn of this infraction Beware friends and thank you for providing this forum.
Male driver in blue Honda, license plate 4YUV, is a car to avoid. The driver is aggressive, speeds, tailgates, rolls through stop signs, changes lanes excessively, and is an all-around scary driver. He was doing 70 on the flyover, and then about 75 on the Bay Bridge at least 10 mph faster than everyone else on the bridge. He switched lanes excessively, not only on the Bay Bridge, but even several times on the short Fremont Street off-ramp.
I'm definitely not getting in this car again! I got a ride in a small used two-door gray-colored car outside Watergate in Emeryville this morning at 8: A man under 30 was driving. The woman was under They spoke a language that sounded Russian. After we had gone over the bridge, the driver had moved over to the lane second to the left hand lane.
He waited to the very last minute to swerve into the left lane to make the turn-off. We nearly hit the barrier in the middle of the road. He laughed as though it was a joke. We drove through the two sets of lights, and then he starts to drive up the one-way ramp, on the left side of the road going the wrong way. His girlfriend started yelling at him. We were stuck in the middle of the road while cars behind us nearly crashed into us.
He was still smiling when I got out of the car, as though it was a joy ride, and he had impressed his girlfriend. The car had no license plates, and no registration sticker -- there was a dealer label on the windshield.
I don't think he was drunk. I don't think he had ever picked up a passenger before in the car pool lane. I'm not sure that he has ever driven here before, because nobody in their right mind drives up a ramp that says No Entry. What concerns me the most is his recklessness with a passenger in the car.
I heard that another car was broken into right before mine. Is there a way to petition for security cameras? I have been parking there for at least 5 years, and now I don't feel safe parking my car there. There's a lot of confusion about the Civic Center pickup spot at N. Logistically this is the only way for it to work. Because a fire lane begins about car lengths after the newsracks. Thank you to everyone who participated in the process of selecting a new Casual Carpool location.
After having discussing the danger of current popular stop on High near the freeway entrance at numerous NCPC meetings, having held a formal meeting on January 8th, and having conducted a walking audit involving OPD, Traffic Engineering, AC Transit, and citizens; there is a consensus on a new location.
The new location for Casual Carpool pickup will be in any one of the approximately four spaces near the front of Macarthur Blvd , the Laurel Foot Clinic. The walking audit on January 21st revealed that this location is convenient for drivers and pedestrians as well as for those who wish to catch the N Trans-Bay bus.
We have talked to the owner, Dr. Lyons, of the Foot Clinic and he has given us his support because the hours of Casual Carpool are from about 6am-9am and his business does not open until 10am. Please help spread the word to all users of Casual Carpool about the new location. We are discussing signage issues with the City Attorney's Office.
I got into an older model white Toyota Corolla with a missing passenger side mirror this morning at the Rockridge pick up. During the short ride over the Bay Bridge we had three extremely close calls with screeching tires, nearly avoiding stopped cars. All were at a high rate of speed and would have severely injured everyone involved. The driver blamed her near misses on not having had her morning coffee. It's really not a laughing matter.
If you see this car wait for another. It isn't worth the risk! As many of you are aware and some of you participated , we had a walking audit of the Casual Carpool situation at High Street and Macarthur Blvd. For some time now, the community has been seeking an alternate location in order to preserve traffic and pedestrian safety. Currently, people are picked up on the High St. There were, however, some concerns that arose from this meeting that I would like to discuss before presenting this option to the larger community.
We would need 2 signs made; one to discourage people from using the present location and one to encourage people to use the new location. Darian Avelino indicated that there may be a problem getting signs because of potential liability issues arising from the City condoning this program.
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